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FAA looking into death of local skydiver

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Updated: 5/27/2013 7:54 am
PALATKA, Fla. -- The Federal Aviation Administration is looking into the death of a Keystone Heights skydiver.

It happened Saturday afternoon, according to the Palatka Police Department. Witnesses said they saw 72-year-old Lawrence "Larry" Elmore spinning very fast and noticed his parachute did not open.

Skydive Palatka instructor Ali Bawden said she was with Elmore yesterday when he went skydiving for the last time.

"He was laughing and joking around with his friends he was jumping with. They were older gents who mentor a lot of the people out here and they were just having a good time," Bawden.

Bawden said Elmore was very well-known in the skydiving community, having jumped all over the world and even setting records. Bawden tells Action News he was a regular at Skydive Palatka.

"Every Saturday he'd come bringing his little cooler and his smile and we'd make a lot of good skydives together," said Bawden.

In a response to Action News, a FAA spokesperson said "the FAA only inspects the parachute rigging and determines whether a certified parachute rigger packed the chute."

Elmore's friends tell Action News he always packed his own parachute.

No matter the cause, Elmore's friends said they'll always remember him for his exceptional skills.

"It's a very sad day for the skydiving community," said Bawden.

According to the Palatka Police Department, the cause of death is still under investigation. Results from the medical examiner's office are expected to be released as early as Tuesday.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

c9bcrewman - 9/24/2013 9:55 PM
0 Votes
sad but it's a chance you take. me i'm keeping my feet on the ground. yes i'm retired aircrewman,but served my country.20 year's and 4,000 flight hour's.

TOMMY - 5/28/2013 5:53 AM
0 Votes
Sad, but totally stupid to jump out of a perfectly good plane! Was the plane on fire, no, was it going down, no just plain stupid!
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